Are we finished?
This simple question is the cause of many construction disputes.
The basis of many of these disputes lies in the definition of what is practical completion (PC).
In a recent ruling, the Court of Appeal stated et al that ‘Practical Completion is easier to recognise than define. There are no hard and fast rules.’
Therefore, unless there is a defined description of PC within the hashtagcontract the responsibility for deciding whether PC has occurred remains with the certifier. However, PC can also include condition precedents which demand that certain documentation needs to be accepted before PC can occur. You may have finished the work on site but if you don’t have the right documentation PC will not be issued.
Or, you may have sectional completion. The points made above will apply to each section not just completion of the overall project.
When PC has occurred can further be confused if the client takes early occupation – have they taken partial possession or early use? It is therefore vital that you understand & can comply with your hashtagcontractual obligations & that definitions relating to PC are detailed & avoid ambiguity.